Publisher: London: Printed for E. and C. Dilly, 1770.
Edition: First edition in English.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T95219; Pine-Coffin 757; Originally published in French as part of Recueil des Oeuvres de Madame du Bocage (Lyon, 1762).
Condition: Edges a little worn; fine copy.
Book ID: 28311
Description2 vols, small 8vo, contemporary calf rebacked period style, red and black morocco spine labels, gilt rules and lettering. Frontis portrait. Two pages of publisher's terminal advertisements in volume one.
CommentsThe narrative of Anne-Marie du Boccage’s travels with her husband, Pierre-Joseph Fiquet du Boccage, first to England and Holland in 1750, followed by Italy in 1757. Du Boccage (1710-1802) was a celebrated woman of letters, and she and her husband were honored guests at the English court and in the homes of prominent individuals, Lord Chesterfield and Mary Wortley Montagu among them. There are numerous literary references (“We first passed Windsor, whose forest Mr. Pope has celebrated in an admirable poem”); they saw the legendary David Garrick on stage, and attended a concert by Handel, of which there is an interesting description. The English letters are interspersed with clever commendatory verses on the people and places visited. The scene turns to Italy in 1757 and du Boccage describes the splendors of Turin, Bologna, Venice, Florence, Siena, Genoa and especially Rome. Some years later another famous woman traveler, Hester Lynch Piozzi, visited Mme du Boccage in Italy, but the two celebrated ladies apparently did not hit it off. Piozzi commented on du Boccage’s coarse manners and later suggested that she had embellished her descriptions of England.